Many women look forward to getting their body back into shape after pregnancy, but some find that they don’t have the same energy levels or stamina in post-partum as they did in their pre-pregnancy lives. There are many types of post-natal workouts, such as cardiovascular workouts, resistance training, toning movements and stretching exercises. Some post-natal workouts can even be done with the new baby, which might help create a stronger bond between the mother and the child.
Most women immediately lose about 10 pounds (4.5 kilograms) at the time of the delivery, but many of them want to rid themselves of all of the additional weight gained during the pregnancy as quickly as possible. Cardiovascular post-natal workouts will help burn calories, induce sweating and promote weight loss. One of the most common types of this exercise is walking. Many women can burn extra calories by taking their newborn with them and pushing him or her in a stroller. After stamina has been built up again, jogging or running can be gradually added to the routine.
New mothers will benefit in several ways by adding strength training and resistance movements to their post-natal workouts. Building muscles will help burn calories faster, and it will help the new mother prepare for her new life. Mothers typically must carry around heavy car seats, strollers and diaper bags, and they frequently must lift and carry the baby. Some basic exercises include push-ups, pull-ups, using free weights and using elliptical machines. Swimming also will help build arm and leg muscles and will help women lose baby weight.
Yoga and Pilates are very popular as post-natal workouts, because they help increase a new mother’s flexibility. These types of workouts can help the body regain its original form and muscle tone. There are mother-and-child yoga classes available in most urban areas and on digital versatile disc (DVD) as well. Some of the most popular movements are mat exercises that target difficult abdominal muscles. These classes also usually incorporate Kegel exercises that will help tone strained pelvic muscles.
The main key for success in post-natal workouts is for the woman to start off slowly and gradually increase the time and resistance. The majority of women are advised to wait at least six weeks before jumping back into strenuous workout routines. Women who had a Cesarean section should wait for their doctor’s approval before beginning any type of exercise program. How much a woman worked out before delivery, her overall fitness level and any delivery complications also might affect the post-natal workout schedule.